Tag Archives: Supreme Court

The Cinch Review

“ObamaCare is a tax, not a penalty”: post-mortems

Yesterday yours truly, like approximately 1.2 billion others, reacted within just a few minutes to the Supreme Court ruling on the “Affordable Care Act.” Today I see no particular reason to either correct or to expand on what I wrote then about why the ruling is wrong, but I do see that there have been smart people out there ably gilding the lily that was here planted.

Andrew McCarthy (who has a background as a federal prosecutor) writes: ObamaCare Ruling: Pure Fraud and No Due Process. His excellent column includes the following statement of fact:

[T]oday, the Supreme Court rewrote a law – which it has no constitutional authority to do – and treated it as if it were forthrightly, legitimately enacted. Further, it shielded the political branches from accountability for raising taxes, knowing full well that, had Obama and the Democrats leveled with the public that ObamaCare entailed a huge tax hike, it would never have had the votes to pass.

But leave it to Mark Steyn to write the ultimate summation of the entire lurid and horrific mess that this has become, in his column today in the OC Register. Read it all (which won’t be difficult). It’s an out-and-out classic.

Yet, would that there were no need to write a “classic” in response to yesterday’s ruling. Would that instead the deciding opinion had itself been a classic.

Maybe it is a classic, of some sort—that sort being the wrong sort.

While I vociferously disagree with his ruling, I have not sped ahead to hating or despising John Roberts personally as a result of it. I think he made a mistake. We all make mistakes; most of our mistakes, thanks be to God, don’t bring with them the kinds of consequences that accompany a mistake by a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. If the ruling is a classic example of anything maybe it is that of a Chief Justice letting confusion and anxiety about his role as “chief” unduly affect his understanding and judgment with regard to the law. He saw that he was in a pivotal position in this case, and, as Chief Justice, that he had the power to write the deciding opinion. He distorted his usually clear-eyed view in the name of striking what he saw as some kind of grand, all-balancing compromise. Ditch the Commerce Clause through which statists seek absolute power, but let the law stand anyway through some sleight-of-hand as an ill-defined extension of the taxing power. He figured, perhaps, that it was the kind of thing that would make George Will happy; in this, at least, he was absolutely correct. Continue reading “ObamaCare is a tax, not a penalty”: post-mortems

The Cinch Review

New York ban on church use of space in schools upheld

For some years now, a number of religious congregations in New York City that were short of worship space have taken advantage of unoccupied public school buildings, and paid a fee to use such space for their services. Other community groups and organizations do similar things. A win-win, you would think. However, the City of New York has long been suing to prevent churches—and only the churches, mind you—from utilizing public school space in this way. Something to do, I guess, with the terrible danger to innocent kids of merely knowing that the space they’re sitting in might have been occupied the evening before by a person who professes belief in God. Continue reading New York ban on church use of space in schools upheld

The Cinch Review

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition

From the LA Times: Justices signal they’re ready to make gun ownership a national right.

Most of the Supreme Court justices who two years ago said the 2nd Amendment protects individual gun rights signaled during arguments Tuesday that they are ready to extend this right nationwide and to use it to strike down some state and local gun regulations.

Since 1982, Chicago has outlawed handguns in the city, even for law-abiding residents who sought to keep one at home. That ordinance was challenged by several city residents who said it violated their right “to keep and bear arms” under the 2nd Amendment.

[…]

All signs Tuesday were that five justices saw the right to “bear arms” as national in scope and not limited to laws passed in Washington.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy described the individual right to possess a gun as being of “fundamental character,” like the right to freedom of speech. “If it is not fundamental, then Heller is wrong,” Kennedy said, referring to the decision two years ago that struck down the handgun ban in the District of Columbia. Kennedy was part of the 5-4 majority in that case.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. called it an “extremely important” right in the Constitution. Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. echoed the theme that the court had endorsed an individual, nationwide right in their decision two years ago. The fifth member of the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas, did not comment during the argument, but he had been a steady advocate of the 2nd Amendment.

Well, it will be months before there is a decision here, and part of my breath will be held until this incredibly important ruling is actually issued, but, I must say, this is highly pleasurable stuff to contemplate.